The story of the day would seem to be the incipient deal on denuclearizing North Korea:
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. envoy to talks on North Korea’s nuclear program said Tuesday that negotiators reached a tentative agreement on initial steps for the communist nation’s disarmament.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill said the agreement outlined specific commitments for North Korea and would set up working groups to implement those goals to begin meeting in about a month. He declined to give other details.
“I’m encouraged by this that we were able to take a step forward on the denuclearization issue,” Hill said.
My spider sense is tingling, telling me to look for China’s hand in this development.
If the deal can actually come to fruition, it would provide a little gleam in the otherwise bleak Bush Administration foreign policy. And it would certainly vindicate the “Six Party Talks” (which you may recall I’ve supported all along).
I look forward to seeing how this is construed as yet another foreign policy failure for the Bush Administration (and it will, it will).
Bolton was on NPR this afternoon saying this deal — and he confessed he had less than full data — looked like nothing but warmed-over Clintonism. (My phrase, not his.) Your Spidey sense may have reason to tingle.
It looks promising, but the North Koreans think agreements are, to borrow a phrase from Pirates of the Caribbean, “more like guidelines.”
Personally, I’m interested in seeing what mechanisms the North will accept for verification – a huge issue in my opinion.
I’d bet China had a hand in it too, but even more so I think the North Korean regime is feeling the economic pressure. Agreeing to dismantle the Yongbyon complex is a pretty big concession considering the counteroffer boils down to energy supplies. The energy crunch is hitting the populous hard is my guess.